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Indian Diaspora Conference to be inaugurated by Prime Minister of Grenada


Indian Diaspora conference to be held in Grenada from April 29 to May 1.

Prime Minister of Grenada, Dr Keith Mitchell will formally open the International Conference on The Indian Diaspora in Grenada and the Wider Caribbean.

Prime Minister Mitchell is also the Minister of National Security, Public Administration, Disaster Management, Home Affairs and Implementation in Grenada. He is the longest-serving Prime Minister of Grenada, presiding in that office for over 13 years.

Giving the details, Dr. Kumar Mahabir– an organizer of the event- told NewsGram that the weekend conference, from Friday April 29 to Sunday May 1, 2016, will commemorate the arrival of East Indians in Grenada on May 1, 1857. May 1st has been officially recognised by the Government since 2009 as Indian Arrival Day.

On that historic day, the Maidstone docked at Irwin’s Bay in St. Patrick’s with 287 passengers who were brought as indentured laborers to replace the emancipated African slaves. Over 22 years (1856 to 1878), 3,033 Indians came from India to Grenada to work on the sugarcane estates.

The Grenada conference aims to bring together academics, historians, teachers, tourism and culture workers, and other persons with an interest in the Indian Diaspora in the Caribbean to discuss their research findings. Space will be provided for less formal presentations from activists and practitioners in the field in order to contribute to the limited store of public knowledge on Indians in Grenada.

Attendance to the conference is free of charge and open to the public.

For attendance and participation in the conference, here are the contact details:

Dr Kumar Mahabir (Trinidad),

Cell: (868) 756-4961 E-mail: dmahabir@gmail.com,

and Ms. Shadel Nyack Compton (Grenada),

Cell: (473) 533-9525 E-mail: Shadelcompton@gmail.com


Mr. Jai Sears (Grenada),

Cell: (473) 405-2921 E-mail: jaisears@yahoo.com

  • sudheer naik

    This is great news that Grenada prime minister is formally opening the Conference and this shows that Grenada giving some belongingness to Indians

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Indian Arrival Day on May 1 to be Celebrated in Grenada this year

The Indian Heritage celebrations started with a lecture presentation by Dr Beverly Steel on the Indian Heritage at the National Museum on May 18

Trinidad and Tobago
Indentured Laborers taken from India. Wikimedia

Grenada, April 30, 2017: Grenada, an island nation with a popularity of 110,000 people, is located in the north-west of Trinidad and Tobago in the Eastern Caribbean. The Indo-Grenadian community to celebrate its Indian Arrival Day on May 1, this year. There is a small number of Indian expatriates in Grenada who are professionals or teach at the St George’s University. A group of Indians are residents there who are mostly traders or run small businesses for tourists.

There is a small number of Indian expatriates in Grenada who are professionals or teach at the St George’s University. A group of Indians are residents there who are mostly traders or run small businesses for tourists.

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The Indian Heritage celebrations started with a lecture presentation by Dr Beverly Steel on the Indian Heritage at the National Museum on May 18. It also included the screening of a Hindi movie and a fundraising luncheon at the Belmont Estate.

The Indian Government has sponsored Cultural troupes, who have been visiting Grenada for the past few years to perform at the Indian Arrival Day event and the festival of Holi or phagwa. They have successfully worked to generate interest and enthusiasm in Indian music and dance among the Indo-Grenadians. Remnants of Indian culture can be found in Grenada in the names of some Indo-Grenadians with the use of a few Hindi words, mainly words related to food and cooking – such as roti and dal.

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In 1957, making 100 years of Indian arrival in Grenada, the Indian Arrival Day was celebrated for the first time. In 2009, the next commemoration function of the Indian arrival was held more than five decades later when May 1 was declared as Indian Arrival Day in conjunction with Labour Day by the Government of Grenada. To commemorate the day, a plaque was installed at Irwin Bay in St. Patrick by the Indo-Grenada Heritage Foundation, which was instrumental in getting official recognition for Indian Arrival Day.

The road leading to the commemorative monument was named Maidstone Road after the first ship that brought Indians to Grenada. Since that time, Indian Arrival Day celebrations have become an annually enjoyed event. The celebrations have been gathering a larger participation from Indo-Grenadians and other communities every year.

Grenada, also known as the Spice Island as it is one of the world’s largest producers of the two spices, nutmeg and mace, was once a French colony. It was later taken over by the British.According to local stories, Nutmeg was brought to the islands when a few nutmeg plants had been left behind by a passing ship; the spice plant grew so well in the volcanic island soil that Grenada is now the second largest producer of the spice, after Indonesia. Other spices produced in Grenada include cinnamon, cloves and ginger.

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The Maidstone was the very first ship that brought Indian workers to the Eastern Caribbean island. It had started its journey with 307 passengers from Calcutta port. On May 1, 1857, the Maidstone anchored at Irwin Bay to disembark 287 Indian workers in Grenada; a number of passengers had died at sea during the long voyage. About 3200 men, women and children were brought here from India to work as indentured agricultural labourers between the years 1857 to 1890. These people were the ancestors of the 3000 strong Indo-Grenadian community, who have now formed the second largest ethnic minority in the island nation.

St. George’s University medical school, which is considered to be one of the best medical colleges in the Caribbean, has had about 300 students from India in the past few years, due to its tie-up with American medical schools. Cultural ties have been strengthened by the mix of Indo-Grenadians and the newer Indian arrivals.

– by Durba Mandal of NewsGram. Twitter: @dubumerang

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How advertisements in India are defying gender cliche

Ads playing an effective medium in moulding opinions of society

How Indian advertisement industry is breaking the gender stereotype

Feb 27, 2017: The most important part of advertisements is the story line and it gives a spur on the social media when the lessons from the story line are timeless. Needless to say, every time a free-spirited ad is released, it not only sparks conversations over the internet but also leaves a viral trail of debates. Just in the same way, some of the Indian advertisements did when they strove to change the mindset of people with regard to gender difference. We often tend to slur women not realizing the essence of being a woman, it takes strength and an indomitable spirit to be a woman. This article will talk about how advertisements in India are leading by example and discarding gender difference.

Let’s recall some of the advertisements that did away with gender difference.

Nike’s recent ‘Da Da Ding’ ad starring Deepika Padukone as one among other female athletes is a powerful ad which got the people talking about giving importance to female athletes as well. It showcased females of a real athletic figure which is not animated and has got nothing to do with ‘legs and butts’.

(A still from Nike’s Da Da Ding advertisement)

The ad portrayed women as fierce and passionate about sports. Once upon a time, Nike’s product catered almost exclusively to marathon runners and then, a fitness craze emerged –and the folks in Nike’s marketing department knew where to mark their next move, an applause for Nike for initiating a spellbinding effort.

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Whisper, Touch the pickle ad

(A still from Whisper Touch the pickle advertisement)

Whisper, Touch the pickle ad is another exemplary of breaking taboos surrounding women’s menstrual cycle. The whisper #Touchthepickle campaign makes an attempt to purge the baseless superstitions owing to Dos and Dont’s in menses. The ad showcases a young girl who dares to touch the pickle while she is on her periods. It conveys a sensible meaning to its viewers to break away these taboos. The ad was lauded internationally and awarded ‘Glass Lion Grand Prix’ award at Cannes International Festival of Creativity.

Many advertisements over the years have sold the cosmetic product but fewer have tried to change the societal conception of beauty. Even fewer have tried to do both, Joy Cosmetic is the brand that did it in India.

(A still from Joy beauty advertisement)
The ad begins with showcasing a well renowned oversized comedian, Bharti Singh asking the viewers “What did you expect, 36-24-36?”, and shuts down body shamers who presumed it to be an ideal body size. The ad conveys effortlessly that an Ideal beauty has nothing to do with body and shape.The advertisement has a sensitive message and is meaningful to its consumers.

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While there is a lot of chaos regarding section 377 in India, Ebay India took an audacious stance through its ad titled “Things don’t judge”.

(A still from Ebay India advertisement)

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Indo-Caribbean history: An analysis of the lost Indians in St. Kitts

Image source: iasautorentals.com

By Megha Sharma

This video, published on August 18 in 2015, is an extensive study of the eminent anthropologist and assistant professor at the university of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr Kumar Mahabir on the migrated Indian population and their later vanish from the West Indies Island, St. Kitts.

Watch it here:

The islet is surrounded by the Caribbean Sea and the vast Atlantic Ocean with an approximate distance of about 2100 km from Florida. The land is the first British colony in the Caribbean Sea, becoming the richest of them by 1776. It is a well-established place with a national park, famous medical universities, and even the smallest nation throughout the world to host the cricket world cup 2007.

map of the island near the Caribbean Sea

The data provided examines the number of Indian immigrants to the Caribbean Sea, where this land comes under the ones received the least by these people. From around 250000 individuals, only 337 opted for it. The researcher also observes how even the literary fields are devoid of any exploration of Indians’ presence in this space.

A personal visit to the place too didn’t fetch him a substantial amount of record to scrutinize into the matter as he just received a few documents of National Archives to satiate this search. Further, the St Christopher Advertiser, a newspaper maintained by a free-coloured family ran from 1782 to 1915. He has otherwise not found any digitised information on the same from the English National Archives.

361 immigrants of different Indian places retreated from Calcutta on February 26, 1861, on the ship Dartmouth, with 337 setting foot on the Island and 2 dying during the voyage. The immigrants included 209 males and 128 females and children who were distributed to work in 25 estates.

These people converted to Christianity, some even changing the names of their children to Christian ones. The scenario totally turned with only 10 Indians on the Island absorbing in the local population after seven years with 21% moving to their origins and a great mass settling in Trinidad.

A beautiful view of the island of St. Kitts

It is seen how the whole population of Indian outsiders scattered throughout the Islands was too small in numbers to form settled communities wherein Dr Kumar studied the case of a Trinidadian novelist Merle Hodge.

These studies analyse how these Anglican Indians lost the essence of their lands and are immersed in the cultural discourses of their alternative identities. The recent people who have put their roots in the land are Sindhis establishing retail stores and supermarkets. Archibald, a Kittitian author, observes how political actions were taken to hold the increasing immigration to these lands.

(Megha is a student at the University of Delhi. She is pursuing her Masters in English and has also done her studies in German language.) Gmail- loveme2010.ms@gmail.com